Tag Archive: Music



The Recorder Fun Book: for Young StudentsThe Recorder Fun Book: for Young Students by Larry E. Newman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Of all the books I picked up when I decided to play the recorder, this one wins. I needed something fun. All those kid or folk songs to get you going are here. The pictures that are fun alongside the instructions of notes, breath, and tongue articulating kept me going.

Unlike reading books, this one I had to take two steps forward then one step back. But in the end I have played from every page. I think eventually I will buy the paper version to fall back on later. Meanwhile, I have many other beginner books to try out.

If you don’t read music, this book could be for you. Having the tune in your head helps you know if you’re playing it right.

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Have you ever had a thing call you to do a something and suddenly you are doing it? No, keep it clean, you all! My music shelf needed sorting. My memory of singing in the truck last week finding I needed more air. Two things crashed. If I started playing the recorder again, I might make my breath stronger. I have recorder teaching books. At least that was the stream of thoughts. But straightening all those books, no recorder books. Darn! I did find my nice soprano recorder in my piano bench. There’s a plus. 

Then I decided to try and find an app to teach myself recorder. I don’t like the app at all. I spent two hours tapping our rests and whole notes on just the key of B and A. My fingers are hurting and I need more movement than just those two notes. I can’t imagine anyone liking that kind of lesson. I think I will go look for books on Amazon when I get paid. Meanwhile, I’ll just play around and see if I can keep the notes sounding pure and not squeaking. 

I think I am getting a music bug again. I miss it. And I miss coloring. And I miss writing. Well, JuNoWriMo is calling but I need to finish the old book before starting the new–or do I? What if I start something completely new?

Well, that is how my Sunday went. Muses are crashing into each other trying to get to me. I’m loving it!

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Yikes! It’s getting late!

My tada isn’t yet another sock.

In fact, I don’t know how to show this in picture form.

I spent most of the day working on my NaNo novel from November. Camp NaNo is coming up, and I either want to write more on this story or get another outlined to write. I mostly edited and got q few scenes checked. I can see there are some big picture things to get right, but I have a hard time if the grammar and spelling are messed up. So I clean the smaller messes to see the big picture. Does that make any sense? The trees are getting in the way of the forest! So If I can get most of the trees out of the way within a week, I will rearrange the forest. That will help me know where to go next.

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Meanwhile, I found a station on Pandora called Classical study time or some such that plays politely in the background. Although I get irritated when I hear Claire De Lune, Moonlight Sonata, and Für Elise played repeatedly. I like them all, just need to hear other things. And since they used to be in my piano repertory, I get distracted and want to play the piano. Music for a background is always more distracting than television. Good old reruns of favorite shows can go on for hours without my getting involved. Do other musicians or music majors have this problem?

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I did start a mohair hat. It is a soft pinkish-orange. When I finished the socks, I couldn’t leave the Flexee looms sitting there without something on them—another obsession.

ta da

Just Jot It January–Letter/Sing


Dear songsters,

Sing like the birds on the wires For in singing we have sent our most fervent letters.

Your Friend,

Mi, mi, mi

P.S. Do, Re, Fa Sol, La, Ti Do agree

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Here are the JusJoJan Rules:

1. Just Jot It January starts January 1st, but it’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list), counts as a “jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. I’ll post prompts at 2am my time (GMT -5). The prompt will be the word in quotation marks in the title of my 2 am post. You don’t have to follow the prompt every day, but that will be where you leave your link for others to see. You’ll get a prompt for every day except Wednesday when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday and on Saturday, when your prompt will be the Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS, which will appear at about 9:30am Friday. Each prompt post will include the rules.

3. Please pingback or link to the daily prompt. To pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! Note: A) The newest pingbacks will be at the top of the comments section. B) Pingbacks only work if you’re blogging on WordPress. Everyone else must paste a link manually.

4. Tag your post-JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. If your post is NSFW, do not pingback. Please leave your link in the comments with a warning.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!


The Jems and Jamz Series: Books 1-2The Jems and Jamz Series: Books 1-2 by Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a find on Kindle Unlimited. It was a fun light-read. I was a little bored at first, just couldn’t get into the story. I adjusted my expectations to my high school or new adult self and the story rang bells for me. It especially touched my former stage-singing self. The author captured that fear/excited feeling of performance arts. The main characters were in pop-bands. That reminded me of stories I wrote as a teen about Meeting the Beatles or other stars. Unavailable then were stories of a different kind of love than boy and girl. This treats everything the same. Love is love. There are a couple of erotic scenes that may not be appropriate for immature young adults, but other than that, I think it is a love story with many lessons, even for older folks about forgiveness and love.

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Janet gave us our prompt word for today. Thanks so much, Janet! Please be sure to visit her blog to read her post and say hello. And follow her while you’re there!.

Your prompt for JusJoJan January 23rd, 2020, is “drive.” Use the word “drive” any way you’d like. Have fun!

Drive equals passion. Passion may include romance but in my life passion is what you live for. In my past this was my passion:

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Not so much the roses or that is it a keyboard. But piano, music, voice. I felt most alive when in that element. As with reading my tracking has made reading music very difficult and headache-inducing. But I have found that my passions have a good shift control in that they can be redirected.

A lifetime passion has been the beach. Though I haven’t been for a couple years I tucked the experience into my cellular memory. I can go to the beach in my dreams, in my meditations any time I need to smell, feel the spray, feel the heat of the sand, hear the waves, envision myself walking or dancing at the beach or swimming in the surf.

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But every day, this is what drives me:

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I know to some this is boring. But during the time I am learning new stitches, feeling soft yarn, I can go to the beach or sing or think of my next story, or binge the next show.

Speaking of which, this is the show I’m bingeing now:

I’m watching it on Hulu. If you want to watch you have to be quick as it is leaving Hulu soon. It is sweet and fun to get to know the characters. A couple of the main characters just got their driver’s license. There. I managed to use a version of the word one more time!


Children's book: The Unruly Orchestra: Learn about musical instruments and the symphonic orchestraChildren’s book: The Unruly Orchestra: Learn about musical instruments and the symphonic orchestra by Daphna Lustiger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read to review this book.

Almost. That is the best thing I can say. I was excited, as a former music major, to see a picture book about the orchestra. But on the first page, I got disappointed. Two of the instruments named were not shown.

The text wasn’t rhythmic or as fun as it could be. And I think it still needs a good editor.

The pictures were fun and I wanted the story to be as fun.

Still, I would have read it to my children. I think I could have made it more fun with sounds of the instruments lined up to actually introduce each part. It could be a fun story, if cleaned up a bit, to a field trip to a concert or an educational segment about Peter and the Wolf, and possibly pulling out triangles and fun band percussion instruments. and a good old march around the classroom.

My deepest disappointment was the piano not named as it was being called a pipe organ (not usually in an orchestra, and no pipes).

Still, the book could have hope with a bit more clean up.

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Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life UnstrungGone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung by Min Kym
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Passion.

That is what this book inspired in me. The music major (piano/voice) in me was jumping up and down as I read and listened to this book. By the way, I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.

As I have often said, it is hard to rate an autobiography. It is their life, their truth. Even so, if you have practiced any instrument for any length of time you feel what the author feels about her violin. Min Kym has written a readable and relatable story. She describes her passion to play the violin in great detail. Stagefright doesn’t seem to enter her world as she is with her best friend at all times. Her life goes downhill when the violin disappears. I won’t give spoilers but that is enough. I have been without my piano (by the way, I have a love/hate with the piano) and worse found times when my voice didn’t work (bronchitis, etc.) and I know I was a mess!

I don’t want to rewrite her book or tell much more. I think musicians will appreciate this book the most but others will enjoy it, too.

The biggest thing that has happened to me since reading this is I want a violin to play with! I’m watching sales hoping. I know I might never get past Twinkle, Twinkle, something I did learn when I tried it a long time ago, but, I want to try!

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Just Jot it January is the brainchild of Linda G. Hill.

Memories

I can hear Babs singing it right now. I never saw Cats but in voice-class, this was a favorite. I loved that class. Because I got to take it eight times (four for voice and four for accompaniment–which I was allowed to still use for voice. I hated accompaniment. My eye-hand coordination is worse when stressed and being the one playing on stage nearly killed me. I loved singing. I was afraid at first but soon was able to use the butterflies to my benefit.

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After eight semesters I was able to take voice lessons from the teacher. I LOVED that! Soon I was able to sing with friends or alone at churches and other events. I loved hanging out with my musical friends, singing harmonies, playing musical games.  Ah! Memories!

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When I had to move from the area life took over and all that went by the way-side. If I had to sing solos now I would be a nervous wreck. But I miss it. I must find a way to add making music to my daily schedule.

I’m not good at being audience. I can’t sit still long enough. But in those days I got to be in a couple musicals, My Fair Lady – chorus and Oliver (Old Sally). I like singing in the chorus. I got to be the screechy high soprano because most couldn’t get the notes. I’d like to think I was okay. Mostly it was fun being a part of the production. Musicals are my favorite type of music. I like my music to come with stories. I like acting it all out. No talking parts for me. Makes me too nervous. I can remember song words, not spoken.

Into the Woods, Phantom of the Opera, Yentl, and Les Miserable are among my favorites. What are yours?

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Today Is MondayToday Is Monday by Eric Carle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say? It’s Eric Carle!

I picked this up at the library because I wanted art inspiration. I have always thought Mr. Carle’s work visually exciting. From the Hungry Caterpillar and Angry Ladybug, I was in awe of the way Eric could make his own prints and cut them into amazing pictures. The other side of that is his books are so much fun to read aloud to kids.

Having had a few accidents where crepe paper got wet and left an interesting stain behind. (Cleaning said stain wasn’t fun but I loved how the stain looked–though it didn’t belong there.) I realized when I read the first Eric Carle books to my kids that this was crepe paper stains cut and reformed into fantastic illustrations. I have learned since that he uses tissue paper to make his own prints. Makes me want to play with this method.

This book had pictures that looked less like crepe or tissue paper but the visuals didn’t disappoint. The story was rhythmically satisfying. And at the end of the book, the words are placed into a song. I think it would be a fun way to teach a little songwriting or other musical lessons. So with this book, we get so many things to learn.

I didn’t miss how inclusive the author was to minorities and the handicapped. All done in a sneaky way that most children or adults might not notice. But on each reading of this book, the onion can be peeled back to show children new lessons.

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